Rich Ballintoy history set to be explored

THE rich history of the Ballintoy history is set to be explored under a new intiative.

Robert Corbett of Ballintoy Archaelogical and Historical Society contacted Moyle Council about the moves.

In a letter, Mr Corbett said: ‘As you may know, Ballintoy Archaelogical and Historical Society is applying to the Heritage Lottery Fund for a grant under their ‘All Our Stories’ strand to explore, share and celebrate three key historical sites in the Ballintoy area, namely Templastragh Church and graveyards; Ballintoy Castle and the 18th century school at Whitepark Bay.

‘Little is known about these hidden gems on our doorstep and we wish to increase awareness of their significance, both locally and further afield. They are an important part of the fabric of the locality.

‘With regard to the Templastragh site the Society, in conjunction with professional archaelogists from the University of Ulster, wishes to survey the site to record it as it is now and compare it with surviving previous descriptions.

‘I wish to emphasise, however, that no excavations will be undertaken at the site. We proposed to invite local schoolchildren to have guided tours of the site and take part in the survey. We hope this will encourage their interest in the history of their locality and let them see what archaelogists and historians do.

‘We also plan to invite members of local community groups and the local community generally to join us in guided tours of the site. At the end of our survey we will hold an inclusive community event to share and celebrate our findings and launch a mobile exhibition based on our project which will be displayed in a wide variety of local venues in the Moyle area. We envisage that the project will be undertaken between February and June 2013.

‘I an assure you that we will treat the site with the sensitivity and care that it deserves,’ said Mr Corbett.